Posts Tagged ‘turkish food’

strawberries and lamb

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

I find the grocery store calming. Even when I’m busy as all hell, I love to go in and see what’s new or really, just look at the food.

I like looking at food.

Yesterday, after showing my house but before driving to school for a presentation (that went super well), I stopped by the store and found strawberries. They’re probably from Mexico. Or Guatemala. Or Mars. But I had some for lunch, and they are SO good. Those Martians know what’s up. The strawberries shamed the hell out of the grapes.

I was feeing colorful. So I had salad, with my grapes and strawberries.

Aren’t the antioxidants just jumping off the screen at you?

Someone who used to live in this house (roommate, Crockett’s family, who knows) left behind a box of mate. So I drank some.

Crockett missed the black bean burgers on Tuesday night, so he busted one out for a sandwich yesterday for lunch. Cold. I can’t imagine it was super delish, but he said it was tasty. Trust him or not – I leave this decision entirely up to you.

He is getting a cold, though. Keep that in mind.

After lunch we made an avocado person.

I wasn’t lying when I said I was busy yesterday.

It’s just that sometimes you have to take the time to make avocado people.

The avocado people judge you if you don’t.

For dinner I busted out one of my favorite yet most rarely used cookbooks. I travelled to Turkey when I was an undergraduate, and this book has all of the recipes I spent several years trying to track down. Little spicy pizzas and savory cheese pastries… and lamb pie.

Of course, I didn’t have all the correct ingredients for Ms. Roden’s lamb pie, so I improvised.

Cinnamon Pastie Casserole (adapted from Puff Pastry Meat Pies with Raisins and Pine Nuts, Arabesque)

1 large onion, chopped
4 tablespoons lightly flavored olive oil, separated
1 pound ground lamb (or beef, if you want)
3/4 tsp salt
10 grinds black pepper
3/4 teaspoon allspice
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1/4 cup chopped dried fruit (I used an anti-oxidant blend that had prunes, blueberries, and cherries)
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
8 sheets fillo dough

Heat the oven to 350. Fry up the onion with half the olive oil, until it’s soft and starting to color. Add the fruit, salt, pepper, allspice, and cinnamon, and then cook on medium low for eight to ten more minutes. You can mostly ignore it during this part, just stir it every so often. Add the lamb and cook, breaking it up into crumbles until there’s no remaining pink.

In the meantime, use some of the remaining oil to grease an 8 x 8 baking dish, and layer in two sheets of fillo. (They’ll hang over the edge, that’s ok.) Brush them with oil. (You may need more than the two tablespoons you have left, use your judgement – you don’t want it to be greasy though.) Put in two more, perpendicular to the first two, and brush again.

When the lamb is all cooked, take the pan off the heat and stir in the parsley and almonds. Dump the filling into the casserole dish, and put tow more sheets of fillo on top. Oil them, add two more, oil them, and then fold all the edges in on top.

Bake for between 25 and 40 minutes. Since the filling is cooked, you’re giving it time to get all meldy and for the fillo to brown. Take it out when you find that brown appropriately tasty looking. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes, then eat.

The onions with the spices and fruit.

All the filling ingredients. This is what the fully cooked lamb looks like.

All wrapped and ready for the oven.

Crockett called this the parchment stage. It’s flaky and delicious. If you take it much past this stage, your filling will probably start drying out, so this is a good color to look for.

I served it with strawberry feta salad with balsamic vinaigrette.

It was delicious. Regular rotation (cept probably not with the lamb – I might actually see if I can sub something non-animal. Mushrooms and zucchini, maybe?). Try it, y’all, you’ll like it.